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Subject: Great '85 show with amazing setlist!
This is another great sounding show from '85 with an incredible setlist. The band is on with lots of energy from start to finish.
The first set opens with a surprising Truckin'opener that explodes with exuberance. Bobby sings with passion an the boys are hot. The outro jam is excellent and segues into Smokestack featuring Matt Kelly on harp. This version is bluesy and gritty and the harp adds another dimension that Bobby versions sometimes lack. Again, Bob's vocals are great, delivering the blues with gusto. Surprisingly this segues into another nice rarity, High Time. The vocals are a bit rough but there is some decent harmonizing throughout. This selection is a real treat and this opening trio has to be heard! Bobby brings things back down to earth with El Paso. Nothing out of the ordinary but it is played with enthusiasm and Jerry's leads are sparkling. Jerry slows things down with Peggy-O. This tune can sometimes be a mood killer but on this night it is another quality contribution to an amazing set. High energy with brilliant soloing. Cassidy gets a nice flushing out with some soaring soloing and group improv. They close out this high powered set with a classic rendition of China>Rider. The energy hasn't waned a bit and the jams are epic, especially in the transition and throughout Rider. The vocals are good and Jerry growls out the headlight line. What an amazing ending to an incredible first set. This version must be heard by all!
The second set continues the momentum with a stellar version of Scarlet>Fire. It is very lengthy with some very impressive work by Garcia and interesting group interplay. Bob slows things down a bit with Looks Like Rain but it is a passionate reading with great leads by Jerry. Bobby uses an odd distorted effect which is kind of distracting and continues to do so throughout the rest of the evening. The ending kind of fades into nothing before the segue into a psychedelic pre Drums jam. This gos on for a few minutes and then the drummers take over. The tarnsition form Space into Gimme Some Lovin is very awkward and the playing is sloppy throughout. This song is always a blast but this version is subpar. Out of it's ashes erupts a brief yet vicious Other One. Jerry sounds as if he is going to rip into an ill solo but Bob cuts him off with the first verse. After the first verse Jerry gets his way and tears into a powerful psychedelic solo that goes on for a few minutes. The band follows suit and everyone is going nuts along with him. Phil bombs aplenty! They go into the second verse and segue into a soulful rendition of Black Peter. Jerry's vocals are brutal but I find that effective for this particular tune. After the run and see jam they segue into a high octane Sugar mags to close this epic show.
Subject: love the show
while i spent a lot of time on the island as a kid, i missed this show. talk about a rare first set starter (Truckin). How many times has that happened?
Dead To The Core -
Subject: DS JAM!!!
seriously...no one has mentioned the dark star tease during the drums/jam??? wow....this show is the for real shit! 85 is always impressing me just when i think they never could turn it up after 77-78...i stand corrected...THE OTHER ONE!!!!!!!!!!
I'm not the type of person who goes around defending every 80s show and giving out five stars, but good God, this show is amazing. This show is not only good for an 85 show, but is as about a good a show as the Dead ever played. I've been listening to the whole thing all morning, and am now on "Black Peter," just about to the end.
A note on the first set: it would be worth your time to listen to the first set here: http://www.archive.org/details/gd85-03-28.sbd-set1.fink.357.sbeok.shnf
On this SBD, the mix in the first set is a little bit sketchy, and sounds much better in the link. The link has the first set only, however, but the second set of this sound board sounds absolutely fine.
Now, to the show:
The first set is played with lots of energy and is a lot of fun. Truckin' and Smokestack are really good, and "High Time" is a rare choice for the time, and everyone is really into it. Bob flubs the words on "El Paso," but it's pretty easily overlooked. "Peggy-O" is very tasteful, and "Cassidy," in my opinion, is absolutely beautiful. As other reviewers have noted, China-Rider is a monster. It is sharply executed and has some great jamming.
In a word, amazing. Set one is amazing, too, and you'd be missing a lot by skipping over it, but it pails in comparison to this fantastic second set. "Scarlet>fire" really does rank up with the best of them. The true highlight of the show, though, is what comes next. "Looks like Rain>jam>drums>space>gimme some lovin'>the other one>black peter" must be heard to be believed. Even the drums section soars. Listen especially closely to "the other one," because it's great.
A note about Jerry's voice: Yeah, it's fucked up. He sounds sick, and he is. The touring, the drugs, and the complete lack of concern for his personal health has an obvious effect on him. Luckily, however, the strain in this show ONLY affects his voice, but the energy in his playing is as high as ever. In his defense, also, there are some songs that the raspy voice fits quite well, and adds some emotional resonance. This is especially true in songs like "Black Peter" and "I Know You Rider." When he sings he wishes he was a headlight on a northbound train, you believe it. Not to paint a dishonest, picture, however, it sounds pretty bad on songs like "High Time" and "Peggy-O."
Still, I think all of the talk about Jerry's voice on this show is a little bit misleading. It does very little to diminish the overall quality of this show. You need to listen to this show, multiple times. It's awesome, and is def. in the top 5 for 85 - on my list, that is.
Subject: noisy weir
hip show---i caught a bunch on this spring swing. the pre-drums jam i guess is really a supplication which they toyed with maybe in hampton in a first set? in saratoga in the summer jerry tried to drag weir into it kicking and screaming. funny how time slips away.
Subject: Agree with the reviwer about China-Rider
WOW- that is one kick-butt china-rider for sure- a well kept secret- please listen to this- you will not be disappointed. As far as the recording, it took a bit of wrangling with the eq before it sounded ok to me- some weird settings I ended up with.
Subject: 85 has plenty of moments
Yes the band is up and down through the year and the drug use hits JG plus Weir has patches of vocal problems during different tours but 85 is well known for being the year that they had the most number of songs in the rotation to choose from. odd ball covers, chestunts ect. This show is avery nice example (as is the classic Richmond show in Nov). Look at the start of the first set and tell me how you can not be geeked. I love the creativity plus they are actually playing well tonight. 3 1/2 lesh bombs
Subject: Take a whole pail of water just to COOL him down
I was at this show and if you like your dead funky this is the show for you.I have NEVER heard Bob Weir play better or louder.It belongs in a time capsule for rhythym guitar.Weir absolutely blows up on the Scarlet>Fire and The Other One.AMAZING.He fell in love with his whammy bar and just freakin TEARS it up.I defy you to find a show where Weir is this insane.WOW!Distortion,feedback,reverb,just KIller.Sound quality very good,real powerful Dead.Excellent set lists.One of my all time favorite shows.Give it a listen I guarantee you'll agree.Rumor had it this night that Weir and Matthew Kelly had it out backstage.Apparently A pissed off Bob Weir makes for good Dead(see Syracuse 10-20-84)
Subject: Get the Oade Audience
A very good show (Jerry's voice aside)with lots of cool song choices and jamming, but get the Oade audience recording- I rate that as four stars. This soundboard is hollow (the drums sound like sacks of fertilizer being tossed on a concrete floor)and, like a lot of '85-'86 boards, somewhat bass shy.
S Gamache..N.H. : ) -
Subject: As smokin as I remembered it to be!!!
Almost missed my ride to these three nights ...Am I glad I didnt, this show is off the hook. I cant say enough good things about it. The energy level this night was thru the roof.. Truckin, Smokestack, Hightime!!! To open the first set?? Was a real treat..I could say great things about individual songs but why bother, the whole night was a hoot..one of my top 5 shows the Scarlet/Fire was exceptionaly tremendous..crackling with energy! We were all very excited. The night before Phil sang solo for the first time in 5000 years!! He used Bobbys mike the first night and the second night (this show)he had his own mike set up. It was great to see all three step up to sing the opening line of Truckin...WOW!!
JaMmM On -
Subject: jerry's voice
very decent show... not the best, but certainly not the worst... a good show for 85.... jerry's voice isn't as bad as you guys make it out to be... not like those 86-87 shows where it would crack mid-verse... he's got the edge of 89 in this show... he really lets it rip.... and as far as the guitar goes... wow.... he's giving it his all... and i agree with the other review, as far as the tone of his guitar being extremely clear... 3 and half for sound quality, and 4 for playing... 4 star overall...
Subject: Great Sound - Great Scarlet Fire
What a trip down memory lane. Not a unique set or anything just vintage ÃÂÃÂ85 Grateful Dead. The transition into Fire on the Mountain is one of the best. GarciaÃÂÃÂs guitar tone is excellent. This recording brings BobbyÃÂÃÂs guitar to the front with an equal dose of Phil. The drums are a little low but it doesnÃÂÃÂt affect the overall quality. This is a superb sounding bootleg aside from the infrequent distortion. If you like the 80ÃÂÃÂs, specifically the mid 80ÃÂÃÂs, just download this great sounding show.
Subject: solid show!!
ok, Jerry's voice is a little scrathy, but so what!! The China>Rider to close the first set is smoking!!! A great Scarlet>Fire as well. 1985 is a great year for Jerry and the boys.
Very dissapointing. Likely the weakest 5-star rating on the achives. Jerry's got bronchitis, Bobby spaces lyrics, and the sound quality is not that great.
Matt Kelly really sets the tone on smokestack
Subject: Smokestack *
* w/ Matt Kelly
Subject: As Good As Advertised
Great show, great quality. A must have for every fan of '85.
Subject: Smokestack "*"
Matt Kelly sat in on Harp. Great show - but a lot of busts in the parking lot. (Nothing new at Nassau) Whole lot of energy for this run - everyone knowing the 30th anniver summer was around the corner. Scarlet>Fire was amazing. Listen to Mickey on the Fire intro!
Anyone know why there is a "*" after Smokestack Lightning on the setlist above? I looked around at the Berkeley setlist archives, and Deadlist, but neither say anything special about the Smokestack.
Subject: first set
Hey schwadust, you've probably heard the first set by now, so you know that it's a beaty too. The Truckin - Smokestack - High Time was a rare triple threat, an awesome beginning. And the China-Rider to close it off ain't so bad either!
Subject: X Factor....
The second set here is full of it. I wasn't at this show, but received the 2nd set as a gift on my 22nd B-day.
The Scarlet-Fire is brimming with intensity. One of the most underpublicized extraordinary versions of this dynamic duo. Seriously, I don't know what the first set holds, and can't wait to download it, but the entire second set is loaded with crisp, inspired jamming. The LLR is lovely, and the jam out of it is amazing...from a whisper to a scream. 3 or 4 minutes of intense jammin' led by Brent. Good stuff. Drumz is above average, and the energy spills over into the post drumz segment.
I'm psyched to be able to download this under-publicized gem of a show.
Check it out for yourself.